Meniscus Injuries | Q&A with Dr. Andrew Cosgarea

Dr. Andrew Cosgarea, chief of the division of sports medicine at Johns Hopkins Orthopaedics, discusses meniscus injuries. He explains how meniscus injuries happen, the signs and symptoms and how they are treated, and how to prevent a meniscus injury. Learn more at: www.hopkinsmedicine.org/ortho

Questions Answered:
(0:01) What is a meniscus?
(0:21) How does the meniscus get injured/torn?
(0:53) What are the symptoms of a meniscal tear?
(1:29) Does meniscus surgery cause, treat or prevent arthritis?
(2:00) Once diagnosed, how are meniscal tears treated?
(2:44) Does every meniscal tear require surgery?
(3:14) What is the recovery after meniscal surgery?
(4:03) What is articular cartilage, and what is so unique about it?
(4:37) When can I return to sports after an injured meniscus?
(5:30) Can the meniscus get torn a second time?
(5:55) What are the different surgery options available for an injured meniscus?

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Comment (217)

  1. Hi doc I had a partial meniscetomy for a bucket handle tear and my surgeon. Said the surgery was a success and for my post op. He checked my knee strength and he was very impressed he said my knee was very strong and he said that. That I may or MAY not developed arthritis. So in this video are you saying that I won't get arthritis ?

  2. hello, I just found out after two years after my initial injury that I have a horizontal tear in my meniscus, in those two years I continued my sport but, I’ve stopped my cheerleading now. my doctor is making me wait two months before finding out if I have to get surgery or my treatment plan. Could the meniscus have worn down or my injury have gotten worse? I have pretty severe pain after standing on my knee at work for 5 hours or more. Thank you 🙂

  3. DRY FAST YOU DUMB FUCKS! It healed me. Your body has all the tools you need to heal. Period. Do the research, try dry fasting 2-3 days a week for a month then come back and tell me to fuck off. Do it then talk, otherwise shut your pie hole. You're welcome.

  4. I have a very straightforward question. I have been diagnosed with degenerative meniscus, level 2, with no contact with the lower or upper surface of the meniscus. The doctor said i should not operate it. But…if i don't, this means that it will continue deteriorating, even if i do not practice sports? And..the big question is….does 2nd level degenerative meniscus heal itself? And of so…how long does it take? Please, answer…some doctors say it can hear, some say ot doesn't, especialy the degerative type of damage….and i do not know what to belive anymore….Thank you so much in advance and please don t judge my poor english, i am not a native english speaker.

  5. Please suggest me. Should i reqire operation..?
    My MRI report point is..👇

    1. There is T2WI hyperintensity and irregularity of ACL suggestive of grade ll injury with stretching of PCL.

    2. LCL- grade l injury. MCL are normal in appearance.

    3. There is grade l injury of posterior horn of medial miniscus:grade lll injury of anterior horn of leteral miniscus.

    4. Non diplaced fracture of tibial spine noted. Small contusions seen in leteral condyles of femur and tibia. the visualised joints appear normal.

    5. Joint alignment is maintained.

    6. Joint effusion noted.

  6. Please suggest me. Should i reqire surgery..?
    My MRI report point is..👇

    1. There is T2WI hyperintensity and irregularity of ACL suggestive of grade ll injury with stretching of PCL.

    2. LCL- grade l injury. MCL are normal in appearance.

    3. There is grade l injury of posterior horn of medial miniscus:grade lll injury of anterior horn of leteral miniscus.

    4. Non diplaced fracture of tibial spine noted. Small contusions seen in leteral condyles of femur and tibia. the visualised joints appear normal.

    5. Joint alignment is maintained.

    6. Joint effusion noted.

  7. So recently I was told that I might have a tear in my meiscus. I went to my trainer after school and she told me that she does believe that it is s meniscus tear. She is setting me up an appointment with a doctor. It doesn’t hurt that bad other then when I Ben my knee and it feels like there’s something popping in and out of place when I bend my knee. It hurts then and when I stay with my leg straight for a long time. If it is serious how long does recovery take? Would I be able to play football during this time?

  8. My son's had pain in his right knee for over 5 years. The past 3 have been worse and have sent him into pain management that he hates. One knee surgeon ran an MRI that didn't show a tear. Did another one with dye to check for arthritis. That one didn't show anything either. He had a motorcycle accident 4 years ago which is what we thought caused the additional pain. Ended up with a broken collar bone and a fractured pelvis.

    After the MRI's showed nothing, the doctor sent him for nerve conduction testing (also negative), and then to a hip doctor who did more tests and an MRI… still nothing.

    The original knee doctor is no longer doing surgeries, so we did a follow up with yet another knee surgeon. He's diagnosed him with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. From what I've read on that, it's not what he has. He's had the knee pain for far too long and no other issues (sweating, swelling, burning pain, etc). He's getting a bone scan in another week or two that the most recent surgeon says can confirm if it's actually CRPS.

    I don't believe it is, but I'm at a complete loss as to what's causing this or how to find anyone to figure it out. I don't even know where to go to ask at this point. I personally had a torn meniscus that didn't show up on my MRI, but the surgeon was willing to operate due to the symptoms I had from a past work injury. From my experience, I thought my son had torn his too since he had similar symptoms. But my surgeon wasn't willing to operate on him from the symptoms alone like he did with mine.

    Are there any other tests to be done? Are there other causes for pain like this? My son is going to be 33 next month and has a worse quality of life at this point than I do, and my knee is bone-on-bone at this point!My son's had pain in his right knee for over 5 years. The past 3 have been worse and have sent him into pain management that he hates. One knee surgeon ran an MRI that didn't show a tear. Did another one with dye to check for arthritis. That one didn't show anything either. He had a motorcycle accident 4 years ago which is what we thought caused the additional pain. Ended up with a broken collar bone and a fractured pelvis.
    After the MRI's showed nothing, the doctor sent him for nerve conduction testing (also negative), and then to a hip doctor who did more tests and an MRI… still nothing.

    The original knee doctor is no longer doing surgeries, so we did a follow up with yet another knee surgeon. He's diagnosed him with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. From what I've read on that, it's not what he has. He's had the knee pain for far too long and no other issues (sweating, swelling, burning pain, etc). He's getting a bone scan in another week or two that the most recent surgeon says can confirm if it's actually CRPS.

    I don't believe it is, but I'm at a complete loss as to what's causing this or how to find anyone to figure it out. I don't even know where to go to ask at this point. I personally had a torn meniscus that didn't show up on my MRI, but the surgeon was willing to operate due to the symptoms I had from a past work injury. From my experience, I thought my son had torn his too since he had similar symptoms. But my surgeon wasn't willing to operate on him from the symptoms alone like he did with mine.

    Are there any other tests to be done? Are there other causes for pain like this? My son is going to be 33 next month and has a worse quality of life at this point than I do, and my knee is bone-on-bone at this point!

  9. Hello Dr. I have torn medial miniscus which was detected in MRI of right knee ayear back . I have been advised arthoscopy which haven't done but doing yoga. The pain is better and I wear a knee brace. Do u advice arthoscopy? As drs do not gaurntee that pain will go away

  10. Is the IT BAND (illio tibial band) being a tight tendon have a contribution to knee not healing from pulling of tendon tightness? Being why swelling isn't going away permanently?

  11. Ive had keyjole surgery and Ive had a sore knee for 6 weeks now. Ive regrets abput this operatio and wander will i ever get a day where im not hsving a tight nand around my knee. Its worse now than what it was before and im disyressed about it im praying maybe in time. But 6 weeks is i feel a long time and no let up from it

  12. I thank you for the Q&A. I was given the results of my MRI today and was told I have multiple tears in my meniscus and would need surgery to repair them. I didn't know exactly what questions to ask the doctor so your information was very helpful!

  13. It's been 3 years since my surgery of my medial meniscus and.. Idk why i think i cant be normal anymore cause sometimes when i am too tired the pain will back again, is it my fault because i didnt do exercise much after surgery? I am even still unable to do squat or run anymore. Depressing.

  14. My righr mri report is , grade 3 signal in body and posterior horn of medial meniscus possibly postop changes…. What is meaning… Pls give suggession what to do now

  15. I have been suffering from mendal meniscus tear and my treatment is going on with mendicine ( two month is completed) and it was difficulty to up and down stairs it's paining

  16. I tore my meniscus 4 years ago playing soccer and never had surgery. Here’s my experience with this stupid injury. I can run, walk, do normal activities, and live life with no discomfort what’s so ever.. like a normal knee. But if i play soccer, or any sport, on any pivoting move my knee will buckle (from minimal, to severe buckle, which will hurt depending how bad the buckle was.) knowing this I have several angles and moves I can’t do because my knee isn’t fully stabilized hence: causing the knee to buckle. Normally when it buckles it will hurt a little, to really bad. If it’s a small buckle, I can keep playing knowing I’ll have small inflammation later but not too serious. But if the buckle is bad it will hurt a lot and I will have to stop playing immediately, then I’ll have to rest 4-5 days for the inflammation and pain to go away. To combat this I now always wear 2 knee braces. The 1st is a slim brace and he 2nd is a big brace with metal supports that I wear over the slim one. Keeping the knee tight. This has allowed me to play soccer again. Mind you even with 2 braces I still hurt it minimally here and there but it’s hell of a lot better than without them.

  17. Having my scope surgery on June 12th…lateral meniscus tear(outside of my left knee). Some of the signs i have and rotations and movements i experience mite help some ppl out so here it goes. Side to side movement..example when i have my left leg at 90 degree angle and move or rotate my leg/knee left its a sharp stabbing pain. Getting out the car since i had to rotate move my leg to do so produce the same pain. Bending my knee sitting in chairs do so too. Sitting down and straigthen my leg out and moving it sideways produce the same pain. Sitting down having my foot planted and simply moving my knee side to side produce the pain. Lifting my leg alot of pressure and the same pain. Hell at first it was hard for me to walk. Sleeping is the hardest part imo feel like i want to rip my leg off shit hurt so bad. Laying down is the worse..its produce the same pain 5 times worse. Shit..is horrible and my tear is a normal size tear shit aint even big!! I HURT MYSELF BEGINNING OF THIS YEAR ..so i wasnt a overnight thing..i had xrays..mri..a corizone shot or whatever..i did everything in 5-6 months and the pain the same. Point is depending if the tear at the part of the meniscus that doesnt heal you fucked over time its only going to get bigger. So nothing going to heal it. My surgery on the 12th of June.

  18. Hello. I just cancelled a meniscus arthroscopy at a hospital because they insisted on inserting a breathing tube in my throat to administer anesthesia in addition to the intravenous and local anesthesia. My orthopedic doctor didn't think it was necessary at all, but the anesthesiologist insisted upon it. It seemed like too much anesthesia to me. I didn't want the pain, sore throat and nausea afterwards, so I walked. I inquired of others about their meniscus surgery and no one else had this thrust upon them except for one person who needed to use his own cpap machine for sleep apnea. What do you think about this?

  19. I have been in pain for three years after a injury to my knee they said it was a deep bruise when after a x-ray and at 11 i just listened to my doctor but now at 14 almost 15 I’m fed up with this pain and when to a orthopedic specialist and they said after examining it after my x-ray coming back normal and im now scheduled for a mri to confirm it

  20. For years already; I’ve been struggling with knee pain and osteoarthritis. Furthermore, I developed partial labral tears in both hips. ..before 37 years of age . Taking this knee discomfort medication “Yοyοkοn Vxy” (Google it)for just two weeks along with fish oil capsules and I am not simply feeling greater, I am PAIN FREE IN A FITNESS CENTER KICKING ASS. Just in 14 days! .

  21. I can’t imagine how efficient is this extraordinary knee pain remedy “Yοyοkοn Vxy” (Google it). In only a matter of One week, I observe improvements and pain medications usually are useless for my knee pain. It is astounding how this guide provide results so swiftly and also efficient. I would endorse this guide. .

  22. A doctor serious on helping others would answer atleast a few of the questions posted. Shame on JH for simply posting some infor without any heed to public need for answers . yes everything "depends"…….. No suggestions on use of Chondrotin sulfate , MSM turmeric , hyaluronic acid , Collagen combos with ultrasonic massage.

  23. I am having a grade-3 tear in the medial meniscus

    I feel pinching type of pain while climbing stairs or walking for longer

    is surgery is needed for getting back to sports?

    I used to do Olympic weightlifting like snatch & clean & jerk

  24. "oblique tearin body and posterior horn of medial meniscus with suspicious small flipped fragment in the inferomedial gutter" the MRI shows this what is the appropriate treatment? also can braces help?which type?

  25. I tore my meniscus when I went running with my dog and I even sprained my calf at the same time and I have tendonitis and LT Band Syndrom. I haven’t been able to walk on my leg for 3 weeks now even after an MRI and medication, and bracing.

  26. Thanks for this. I had surgery three and a half weeks ago and still not able to walk normally without pain or a cane. With the information I was given generally by the NHS, perhaps I was over optimistic that I would be back working now (back at work 3 days office, 2 weeks physical, 4 athletic). I have degenerative osteoarthritis in the joint and the consultant surgeon recommends knee replacement surgery if not better after 6 weeks. At 67 but very active normally running a business which is high on physical activity, I have been working out overdrive on physiotherapy. Of all the info on here, this is the very best in terms of professional presentation and the overall reality of expectations across the board taking into account age etc. It’s been very reassuring for me. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  27. can i go back home after meniscus surgery which is 8 hours flight from Heathrow and i had surgery 2 months and 7 days ago just start walking slowly slowly a week ago with a little bit pain in knee lets say less than 5%, doing my excercises 3 hours every day. please assist me really appreciate for that

  28. My knee started hurting in soccer training the day after we played a game, it wasn't swollen. I rested for a week and then played a game, everything felt fine, the knee wasn't 100%, but it wasn't hurting that much so I played. The next day my knee was swollen and it hasn't gone down for 3 days. It doesn't hurt that much and I can run and walk easily, but it is still swollen. Any ideas on what this is?

  29. I got pain played Football, now my meniscus and Acl diffuser interstitials involving tear,, how i get recover from it, if and DOING freely playing again without surgery, thanks in advance sir

  30. If you have a torn meniscus and your leg locks sit with your leg hanging it pulls the joint apart a little so the torn part of the meniscus can get unstuck or do what i did and lay down with your leg hanging off the side of the bed. Hope this helps

  31. I'm wondering because I have symptoms of a meniscus tear. I feel popping and have a locked knee when it comes to straightening it. I can bend it fully though from knee to chest and heel to butt. When trying to straighten it, locked knee stops it. But not because of pain. I can squat, do leg extensions, dead lift, with no pain or instability. Has this ever been heard of before?

  32. I have knee injury. While playing a football, I mate with contact injury. My problem is swelling, cracking, popping sound and cannot walk up and down. My MRI shows 1. Focal area of marrow oedema seen involving the proximal tibia including the tibial spine. 2. Grade I change involving the medial meniscus (Not a tear). Please what is the possible treatment. It's been 2 years. Please help.

  33. I can run sprint and do everything just fine but when I bend my knee it feels like the bone below just pops out and it takes straightening the knee for it to pop back in, it’s been almost 5 months, not sure if I could return to wrestling

  34. I had posterior horizontal tear and I've done my meniscus repair and partially menis coectomy since tow weeks..so my question is could I take prp to support and progress it faster??? Please I'm waiting your answer doc 🌹🌹

  35. this was very informative, one of the doctors who saw me gave me an incredulous look when I told him my knee was locked and I felt there was something stuck inside the joint.

  36. Just saw Dr. today. Tear meniscus on both knees, left knee is worse. No pain, however unable to extend knee. So I walk with a slight limb. Was given steroids injections, feeling and walking much better. Doing mild stretches and massages on knee area and seems to help as well.

  37. i am a europe football player, i got my meniscus hurt 1 year and 3 months ago, my doc said dont do sports for year and now its 3 months left, can you have some sort of trainings for recovery?

  38. Hello Dr, I am 30yrs old and having grade 3 posterior horn of medial meniscus tear on my MRI, will it be fixed without surgery? I don't have any pain but when I bend my leg full while sitting the it gets locked.

  39. I had meniscus surgery in 2018 , to be honest I regret having done so. It has not helped and since ,I now have inner knee pain. Doctor recommended therapy which I did. Still i am unable to do exercises I was accustomed to , that been long walks and jogging. When asked for my opinion by others I say try therapy first, a good therapist cause not all therapist are the same. I stretch every day to stay flexable, but what else can be done, to improve?

  40. After a life time of diagnosed with meniscus tear, I got cured with the help of Dr Oyalo remedy whom I met on YouTube. It has wonderful taking his herbs as there was improvement during the process which I felt and after taking his herbal dosage I was completely cured and till now I’m free. Im glad to share this and you can get his herbs too. 🙏

  41. ive had a lateral meniscus arthroscopic surgery 4 months ago still i have the same pain as before the surgery the doctor said he took the cyst that was on the lateral side of the knee because of the meniscus tear still i believe that the cyst is there and its causing me alot of pain when walking and working

  42. I had a surgery last week after tearing my meniscus in a crossfit session( Weighted pistol squats) i'm now freaked out of the idea of giving up crossfit i just cannot😫😭 and at the same time i'm affraid of tearing the rest of it again or worst, developing an arthritis at the age of 20

  43. I just had meniscus surgery today(repair) and I really hope I never tear it again during sports, I’ll do whatever it takes and how ever long it takes, but I do mma and really don’t want to go through this again

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